KNIGHT UP! Why I love the Vegas Golden Knights
People say that sports can change a person. I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to play the game to be impacted by it.
As I write this, the Vegas Golden Knights have just swallowed up the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A joyous day, to be certain, but only halfway to the goal.
Regardless of whether our beloved team takes home the #CupIn1, they are forever in my heart.
I began to follow the Knights back when they were just a hope. I read every article I could about the quest to bring hockey to our desert community. I listened to the pros and cons and everyone who argued it would never happen, but I admired and respected the way the process was handled. They had me at Bill Foley.
Everyone knows what has happened since then. We were awarded a franchise. We got a general manager, a coach, and the most adorable, hard-working, talented group of misfits to fill the roster. We got a broadcast team (I love the broadcast team equally as the players) who brought hockey into our homes. If it were not for them, this post might not exist.
You see, while all the stars were aligning for our Knights, I was a full-time caregiver to my dying mother. I rarely left the house, particularly that last year when I drove less than 500 miles – the entire year! It was my greatest honor to care for my mom, but even a caregiver needs something to smile about every now and then.
Enter the Knights. I had something to cheer about, because I knew what the outcome would be for my mom. But the Knights. Who knew? Even if they lost every single game, they still would have earned my devotion. On game nights, if mom was awake, I’d sit by her bedside and give her the play-by-play. Mom wasn’t much into sports, but she heard the enthusiasm in my voice for our team, and she lovingly went on the journey with me.
Las Vegas was hurting when the Knights began their season following the mass shooting of October 1, but they embraced the city and we hugged them right back. It’s been a mutual healing experience.
For me, personally, I don’t know how I could have gotten through these past few months without seeing my hometown team on the ice. Mom has since gone to that big hockey rink in the sky (well, honestly, it’s probably a movie theater), and I’m still cheering #GoKnightsGo in my living room. I’m not sure what I’ll do in the off season, but hopefully it’s a short one this year. And next year, I plan to actually make it to The Fortress for a game.
I grew up in Detroit (Hockeytown) and I lived in San Jose during the birth of the Sharks, but never have I ever been so grateful for the Vegas Golden Knights. Whenever I needed them, they were there. On the ice, or online.
Oh, that Twitter account! Sassy is thy middle name. Smart, funny quips morning, noon and night. How often it’s made me laugh out loud. I rarely start the day without searching for the latest updates on my Knights. Keep giving me those GIFs of William Karlsson’s hair flip, Marc-Andre Fleury thanking the goal post or doing the wave, or Jonathan Marchessault mugging for the camera. They are the GIFs that keep on giving. The Twitter account is in a league of its own.
And it’s not just the official Twitter account that keeps me in stitches. The whole cast of characters, from our bright yellow Gila monster mascot, Chance, to Bark-Andre Furry and his beautiful singing voice heading the #DogsoftheGoldenKnights, to the newly minted Goal Post, The VGK Flamingo, and the limitless other superfans. I spend each day in harmony with them. And who couldn’t muster a smile with the shade throw-down between the Kings and the Sharks.
As a writer, I can always disappear into my latest creation as part of my grieving/healing process, but it’s a lonely experience. The Knights have a strong worldwide community, and I’m very lucky to be part of that.
This last year has been a journey, to be sure, but as you see, sports can change a person – for the better – and I’m forever changed thanks to hockey and our Vegas Golden Knights.